116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Neither team looked comfortable.
For the first two sets of Monday's Class 5A quarterfinal between No. 2 Pleasant Valley and No. 7 Ankeny Centennial, it looked like nerves were winning out.
“I always think there are a lot of nerves going into the first state (match),” said Pleasant Valley junior Halle Vice.
Or, as Spartans Coach Amber Hall said, “It does take awhile to get acclimated into the big stage.”
After splitting the first two sets with Ankeny Centennial, the Spartans found their footing in the next two. With Vice leading the way at the net and senior setter Kora Ruff running the show, the Spartans went on to post a 25-16, 19-25, 25-20, 25-12 victory.
The win moves PV (31-4) into a 10 a.m. Wednesday semifinal match against the Urbandale-Ankeny winner.
“I'm just really proud of the way our girls settled in during the third and fourth sets,” Hall said. “They got really zoned in and showed what they are capable of achieving.”
In the pivotal third game, the teams were tied at 17-17 before the Spartans went on a 4-0 run to take control.
“Once we adjusted to the atmosphere, I thought we picked up our play,” said Vice, who finished with 10 kills. “Centennial is a great team and we knew we had to play better.”
The fourth set was all Spartans. Leading 7-5, they went on a 6-0 run behind the strong serving of senior Riley Morgan to seize control.
“We definitely found a groove in that fourth set,” Hall said. “That was the tempo and pace of play we are used to seeing.
“It was good for us to see a high-caliber team like Ankeny Centennial.”
Chloe Kline led the offense with 14 kills while Emily Goodpaster added 11 for PV. Ruff had 42 assists and three ace serves. Livia Thomsen had 20 digs.
For Centennial, which closes at 30-10, Marissa Meyer led the way with 14 kills.